1. Rebel Yellow
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    Rebel Yellow Active Member

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    Obligatory scenes in the horror genre.

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by Rebel Yellow, May 26, 2016.

    So I've been binging on the Story Grid podcast for last couple of days and this guy, Shawn Coyne, talks a lot about the obligatory scenes (like the lovers meeting for a romance), but he never gets too specific about some of the genres. What would you think the obligatory screnes are for a horror novel?
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think there are any. "Obligatory" would mean that all horror novels have them (because they're required), and I suspect I could find an exception for any such scene :)
     
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  3. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    I think horror is too vague of a genre to have obligatory scenes. In a romance novel I can see there being obligatory scenes where your mcs meet for the first time and then finally get together (keeping in mind I don't really read romance so I'm talking out my ass here), but while there are common scenes in different specific types of horror, there's no universal 'horror plot'. And personally, if I'm told any scene is 'obligatory' in what I'm writing, I'm gonna fight really hard to not have a scene like that - what's the fun in sticking to things that are so predictable? I'ma write a romance novel where the leads never even meet :p
     
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  4. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe not so much obligatory scenes, but obligatory events.

    Karen Woodward sums it up quite well here.
     
  5. tumblingdice
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    tumblingdice Member

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    A sympathetic character dying horribly :D
     
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  6. Iain Aschendale
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    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    A bit more of a horror movie trope, but a character deciding to stay/investigate when clearly they should just bail out.
     
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  7. Iain Aschendale
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    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    Oh, and related to that, someone described a short story as:

    Put a man up a tree
    Throw stones at him
    Get him down

    In Horror, once MC has not chosen to leave, they usually end up trapped "up the tree". Snowstorm in "The Shining", lots and lots of broken cars/planes/boats, rockslides, floods etc.

    And you don't need to get them down.
     
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  8. Samuel Lighton
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    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    Unless your MC falls in love with a rollercoaster and marries it. I don't know if that qualifies as 'meeting' though :p
     
  9. Rebel Yellow
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    Rebel Yellow Active Member

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    Wow! This is exactly what I have been looking for. I was about to quote the hero's journey as an example and this article seems to be written with it in mind.
     
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  10. Iain Aschendale
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    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    The movie "Next Stop Wonderland" was like that, as was "The Lake House" and whatever the original story they ripped off to make it (two teenagers living a century apart, one gets ill and makes a connection somehow, final scene is a note carved into a boulder).
     
  11. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    -can't start the car/open a door/ something that works 99.9% of the time is suddenly faulty
    -trip over something trying to get away
    -Oh, was that a terrifying monster? Na, was probably nothing.
    -Local gives an expositional story of the haunting antagonists. characters laugh it off.
     
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  12. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was thinking more like a desirable character rather than sympathetic, someone about which the audience would think: Oh, I'd do him/her and then BAM! monster food.

    And it has to happen later in the story after we've seen enough of the character so we're convinced we'd at least like to see them naked.
     
  13. tumblingdice
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    tumblingdice Member

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    Well, I'm not really a sexual person, so that wouldn't work for me personally.

    I'll keep it in mind when it's my time to write a death scene, though.
     
  14. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Group of College kids/high school kids (More often the former). Unless you like Asian Horror, then you should find a little bit of variety in the age range from child, to 30 something adults. But we won't go to much into the foreign film bracket of the genres to save time. So for the sake of more recent cannon, college aged kids. This group typically just tries to have a diverse party of five-six people (diverse in personality/status, like the geek, the popular, and you get the idea) also their needs to be at least one character that is not the same ethnicity as the rest of the group (funny now that I think about it most horror movies are racist and sexist. The ethnic person always dies within the first or second kill by the killer (or whatever), and the middle ground mildly attractive white woman lives at the end. Pretty standard for modern Horror Movies.) So yeah there you go in a nutshell, along with sex, and booze/drugs (ya know cause it is fun to kill off people that are busy or intoxicated). Also the 'killer' doesn't officially die in the end cause after going torture porning, all the (whatever) they just activated God Mode from the cheats menu (lather rinse repeat in the next 1,000,000 sequels). And there you go one quick break down to a typical Horror movie. (And if the protagonist is a child you kinda have to rely on the supernatural almost exclusively as the antagonizing element. )

    Wow, I just realized why I hate Horror movies so much, but I digress.

    Try reading some Clive Barker or something with a little more thought and some actual psychology into it for some depth. Also try some darker Dystopian, sometimes they can get under your skin with a warped new future scenario that could plausibly happen. Hope this helps you on your quest to write Horror, so good luck and all the best. Make us proud. :supergrin:
     
  15. Iain Aschendale
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    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    @Cave Troll, you just described "The Cabin in the Woods", which deliberately tries to hit all the tropes for reasons that are best left unspoiled.
     
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  16. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    I am pretty sure I did more damage than just spoiling one bad movie. :supergrin:

    I have seen way too many Horror films where it is pretty much the same thing (torture porn optional of course). But so many have no problem doing this with a mixing or having an all singular gender (pick one you can only be right 50% of the time on this one), that slog through some bogus bologna. The Descent all women, all of them die except the MC (and yes there was a woman that was of ethnicity other than white).

    I could go on for quite awhile, but I think you get the picture on the formula I am referring to.
     
  17. Iain Aschendale
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    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    Oh yeah, I know the formula. If you're ever bored and have the opportunity, however, you ought to watch it (The Cabin in the Woods). It's very different than the others.
     
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  18. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Alright, I will give it a watch sometime. Thanks @Iain Aschendale. :)
     
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  19. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Romance can feature a couple who are already together, or who were previously together, so a novel doesn't have to include them meeting.

    I think @Chained's list is pretty good for almost-ubiquitous-events-in-a-horror-movie and I second the recommendation for Cabin in the Woods.
     
  20. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is the foundation of the teen slasher film.
     
  21. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yep. Good flick.
     

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